Luxembourg is one of Western Europe’s hidden gems, sandwiched between Belgium, France and Germany and visiting the country is like stepping into a medieval time-warp.
The small country has a total population of just half a million, mostly living in the capital Luxembourg City, which is easy to get around by foot. The capital is situated on two adjacent mountain tops, with a rocky cliff face, and is most famous for its medieval stone walls that wind around the city and the stone bridges that connect one mountain to another. The Grand Ducal Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Bock castle ruins and Fort Thüngen are among the top historical attractions.
The old city centre is small and can be easily walked around in an hour or so. The cobbled streets winding up the mountain with the old stone buildings and the Grand Ducal Palace evoke a forgotten time and have remained unchanged for centuries.
For lovers of modern art, the MUDAM museum (Grand Duke Jean Museum of Modern Art) is an incredible exhibition featuring unusual contemporary art including stain glass, life-size cars and trucks made from small pieces of metal and a giant milk factory machine. The museums architecture itself is worth the visit alone and it is situated on the old foundations of Fort Thüngen, built in 1732, so you have a contrast between the modern building and the old fortress ruins and foundations that are visible from the gallery windows.
The ‘Am Tunnel’ gallery is also a must visit for contemporary art lovers, and is situated in a deep underground tunnel under a bank with a vast collection of local art. It’s tricky to find however and to access the gallery you have to enter the Banque et Caisse d’Épargne de l’État.
For nature lovers, the valley below the old area of the city is heavily forested and you can walk through the valley and then up the mountain, through tunnels and woodland to reach Fort Thüngen and the modern part of the city. It takes around 1 hour 30 minutes to walk to the other side of the city and is best enjoyed early morning while the mist and fresh morning dew envelops the sleepy mountain.
I would recommend visiting the country either on a day trip or just for a night as this will give you ample time to explore the capital and all its wonders.
If you are looking at staying the night, then the Sofitel Luxembourg Le Grand Ducal is the country’s best hotel by far. The glass and curved design of the hotel is sleek and sophisticated and rooms offer stunning views over Alzette and Petruse valleys as well as the old town.
For more information on visiting this charming country visit the official tourism website Visit Luxembourg.